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Zero Halliburton debuts in Abu Dhabi, targets rest of Middle East

Muzaffar Rizvi (business News Editor)
Filed on February 26, 2015

It is Zero Halliburtonís travel case that encloses the US presidentís nuclear button.

Hiroaki Morishita and Atsushi Osaki believe it is the right time to enter the promising Middle East market. — Supplied photo

Hiroaki Morishita and Atsushi Osaki believe it is the right time to enter the promising Middle East market. — Supplied photo

Dubai — Iconic luggage manufacturer Zero Halliburton, which made a successful foray into the Middle East by opening its first brand outlet at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, sees huge growth potential in the region and is keen to explore markets to boost its product portfolio in coming years, its top official says.

Hiroaki Morishita, chairman of Zero Halliburton and president of ACE Company, the parent company of Zero Halliburton, said it is the right time to enter the promising Middle East market ahead of mega international events such as World Expo 2020 in Dubai and the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Doha, among others, to establish base in the region and then extend its reach to other Gulf countries.

“Our next target is to launch a Zero Halliburton brand outlet in Dubai as soon as possible to be part of this vibrant growth market,” Morishita told Khaleej Times after the inauguration of company’s first outlet in the region.

Zero Halliburton, a premium brand for high-end luxury travel luggage, was established in 1938. The US-based company has built a strong growth legacy of over 75 years by introducing the standard for protection and durability using only premium materials and unique craftsmanship in its high-security travel baggage. It is distributed exclusively in the region by the Areen Group, a leading business conglomerate in the region.

“We are pleased to launch the first exclusive store of Zero Halliburton in the region, at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. As one of the leading shopping destinations in the country, Yas Mall is an ideal shopping destination to launch our first store in the UAE,” Morishita said.

“As soon as Zero Halliburton establishes its base in Dubai, we are planning to set up five mono-brand stores in region and enter 15 to 20 high-end multibrand outlets across the Middle East region by 2020”, he said.

Elaborating, the chairman of the firm said Zero Halliburton aims to tap into the growing market for luxury retail in the region. He said the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia offer immense growth potential for the company due to high demand for luxury travel cases. “Qatar and Saudi Arabia are other possible growth market for the company and our plans are on cards to enter these market with brand outlets in coming years. We will also explore Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain to strengthen our presence in the Gulf market.”

A whole bag of tricks 

Zero Halliburton is an iconic brand. Just how iconic? 

> The travel case that encloses the nuclear football — the briefcase that the US president can use to order a nuclear strike — is from Zero Halliburton

> The company also provided modified aluminium cases to the Nasa that were used on the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon

> Over 300 films have used Zero Halliburton products, among them Lost, Mission Impossible and Men in Black

To a question, he said Zero Halliburton brand products are available at all leading luxury retail stores and widely acknowledged for its perfection, durability, security and craftsmanship all over the world.

“We have 10 mono-brand stores in leading international markets including New York, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Seoul, among others,” Morishita said.

Morishita said the United States and Japan are core markets for the company, which recorded strong double-digit growth in 2014.

“We noted 15 per cent year-on-year growth in our business last year and expect the similar trend to continue this year due to strong demand for our products in international markets,” he said.

It is Zero Halliburton’s travel case that encloses the US president’s nuclear button. The company also provided modified aluminium cases to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1969 to use on the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, to safely carry moon rocks back to earth. Apart from celebrity usage, the company’s cases have appeared in over 300 Hollywood films and travel shows including Lost, Mission Impossible and Men in Black, among others.

Atsushi Osaki, president of Zero Halliburton, said the company aims to become a leader in baggage manufacturing by expanding its presence across the global markets.

“We have introduced the brand to the UAE market as the masses here have a great sense of style and fashion. We aim to boost our products portfolio in the region with the opening of first mono-brand store in the region,” he said.

“It is an honour for us to introduce the Zero Halliburton’s first mono-brand brand store in the Middle East at Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi. It is great pleasure and joy for us that such an iconic brand made Middle East foray in the UAE,” Mohammed Ali, representative of Advance Investment, told Khaleej Times.

“We see this opportunity as a turning point for the group that will give a boost to travel luggage business in the Middle East region,” he said, adding that the brand will help promote travel cases in general and aluminium luggage in specific across the region.

To a question, he said the company, which also launched premium luxury brand Bric’s recently, has more brands in the pipeline to be introduced in the region in due course of time.

“We are looking for right opportunity, if it arises. At the moment, our focus is to enhance the equity of existing brands including the Zero Halliburton that will take our immediate focus,” Ali said.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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